Trees clean the air. Tree foliage works as a natural air filter of particulate matter such as dust, micro sized metals and pollutants such as ozone, nitrogen oxides, ammonia and sulfur dioxides. Trees take in carbon dioxide and produce oxygen. Combined with the cooling effect of trees, these processes can have a significant impact on reducing smog and overall air pollution.
Trees improve water quality. A healthy urban forest can have a strong influence on our region’s water quality. Tree canopies and root systems slow and reduce storm water runoff, flooding and erosion. Trees also help filter water runoff reducing potential sources of water pollution into our rivers and storm drains.
Trees save energy. Trees cool the air naturally in two ways: through water evaporating from the leaves and direct shade. Homes shaded by trees need less energy for cooling which means lower monthly utility bills in summer and a reduced need for utilities to increase power generation to meet peak load demand.
Trees raise real estate value. Shaded neighborhoods and well-landscaped yards have a positive economic influence on real estate values, timeliness of house sales and neighborhood desirability. Studies report that landscaping speeds the sale of a home by four to six weeks.
Trees help stop inner city violence. A scientific study by the Human-Environment Research Lab has demonstrated that contact with nature may actually help reduce the incidence of aggression and violence in inner-city neighborhoods. According to this study, levels of aggression were significantly lower among people who had some kind of nature outside of their apartments versus those who didn't. The impact of the physical environment on human aggression has been well-established - crowding, high temperatures, and noise have all been linked to violent behavior. Some scientists believe that it's because people living under these conditions suffer from something called chronic mental fatigue, which can make them inattentive, irritable, and impulsive - all of which can be linked to aggressive behavior. Exposure to green spaces, it has been shown, can mitigate the harmful effects of chronic mental fatigue, reducing aggressive behavior in the process.
Some Facts and Figures about Trees:
|acre of forest absorbs six tons of carbon dioxide and puts out four tons of oxygen. This ienough to meet the annual needs of 18 people. -U.S. Department of Agriculture|
|There are about 60-to 200- million spaces along our city streets where trees could be planted. This translates to the potential to absorb 33 million more tons of CO2 every year, and saving $4 billion in energy costs. -National Wildlife Federation|
|properly placed around buildings can reduce air conditioning needs by 30 percent and can save 20 - 50 percent in energy used for heating. -USDA Forest Service|
|Trees can be a stimulus to economic development, attracting new business and tourism. Commercial retail areas are more attractive to shoppers, apartments rent more quickly, tenants stay longer, and space in a wooded setting is more valuable to sell or rent. -The National Arbor Day Foundation|
|planting of trees means improved water quality, resulting in less runoff and erosion. This allows more recharging of the ground water supply. Wooded areas help prevent the transport of sediment and chemicals into streams. -USDA Forest Service|
|In laboratory research, visual exposure to settings with trees has produced significant recovery from stress within five minutes, as indicated by changes in blood pressure and muscle tension. -Dr. Roger S. Ulrich Texas A&M University|
A tree can grow to manufacture five pounds of pure oxygen per day, consume carbon dioxide to fight the "greenhouse effect" that threatens our survival, and provide the cooling equivalent of ten room-size air conditioning units.
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